HUDSON — Richard Blakeslee, owner of Triple Creek Outfitters near St. John, has put more than 17 years into building a business out of his passion for hunting and fishing and all things outdoors Kansas.
With a multi-faceted operation that offers other hunters everything from entertainment to housing in south-central Kansas, one might think Blakeslee has achieved his goals. A recent expansion to the business, which is now on three different television shows featuring hunting land in five counties, shows that the sky, or the next hunting season, seems not to have any limits for the outdoors enthusiast.
"For 20 plus years ago I guided with bird dogs with other hunters," Blakeslee said. "I always wanted my own business. Love for outdoors, bird dogs, is what got me doing it. I like to share my passion with others."
Triple Creek Outfitters opened a new 6,000-square-foot hunting lodge located near Hudson, between Great Bend and St John last month. It is a facility that sleeps 20 and is paired with a Polaris dealership in Great Bend. The family-owned business attracts tourists both in and out of Kansas with its hunting programs.
"It brings people in from all over to deer, turkey, pheasant, and waterfowl hunt," said Blakeslee. "We want to be the best to provide a quality trip to Kansas and to let people from other states see what a great area of Kansas we live in and how incredible this part of the state is."
The hunting lodge has 10 bedrooms, eight of which have full-sized beds. Each room has its own bathroom. The building also contains a full kitchen, a living area, pool tables, and a dining room; along with lockers for any equipment. There is a fishing pond and a back patio outside.
"It’s important to have a hunting lodge in Hudson because it brings a lot of outside income to small communities. Taking hunters, buying groceries local, utilizing community businesses ... it gives back to the community," Blakeslee said.
There are plans for further construction.
"We will be putting in playground equipment, starting a controlled shooting area, and starting dove hunting. A lot of the things we’ll be putting out in the next year," Blakeslee said. "We’ve already scheduled our first wedding for next spring."
Next on the expansion list is a 5,500-square-foot first-class entertainment venue. All buildings are available for rent for class reunions, family reunions and weddings.
"We want to make it better for people to come, for opportunities of the community, and grow to be the best business we can be," Blakeslee said.